The government through the Ministry of Youth, Sport and Arts has handed over 71 fuel tankers to various youth cooperatives drawn from across the country.
Minister of Youth, Sport and Arts Elvis Nkandu handed over the fuel tankers during a ceremony at Levy Mwanawasa Stadium in Ndola on Wednesday afternoon.
The event in Ndola saw cooperatives receive the tankers after the conclusion of the establishment of the new modalities for disbursing.
Most of the 71 fuel tankers were procured by the previous Patriotic Front PF government under then Minister of Youth Emmanuel Mulenga.
Several Ministers among them Chushi Kasanda of Information and Media, Small and Medium Enterprises’ Elias Mubanga and his Copperbelt counterpart Elisha Matambo were present.
In his keynote speech as guest of honour, Mr. Nkandu urged more youths countrywide to apply for various empowerment programmes.
Mr. Nkandu said he was disappointed that fewer youths are applying for various empowerment programmes under the Ministry of Youth, Sport and Arts.
He disclosed that less than 200 youths from all the ten provinces had applied for the fuel tankers empowerment scheme.
Mr. Nkandu said unlike in the past youth empowerment programmes are now non partisan.
He said segregation that characterised the disbursing of the fuel tankers in the past was sorted out and the right people will benefit.
“In the entire Northern Province only five applications were received. Only five applications the whole Northern Province. Whom do you want to blame ad youths? You are just bringing yourselves down. Go and tell your fellow youths that you are just bringing yourselves down. Under general empowerment programme we only received 457 applications the whole country but you are hearing youths complain that the government is not helping us. How can you be helped if you are not identifying yourself? Under general empowerment programme you request government to buy you things like block-making machine, tailoring machine, saloon equipment, water pumps for farming,” Mr. Nkandu said.
He said operators of the fuel tankers will be linked to oil marketing companies by the government.
“The Government of the Republic of Zambia through our Ministry has hand over 50 Fuel Tankers to 50 Youth cooperatives drawn from across the country at the Levy Mwanawasa Stadium in Ndola District of the Copperbelt Province. This is following the conclusion of the establishment of the new modalities for disbursing various youth empowerment programmes under our ministry. We also wish to inform the nation that the 50 additional fuel tankers that were procured under the youth empowerment programme have since been inspected and are ready for distribution.We are aware of the segregation that characterised the disbursement of youth empowerment programmes in relation to the selection of beneficiaries in the past, and that will no longer be the case under the New Dawn Government led by President Hakainde Hichilema. We further wish to assure the youths and the nation at large of transparency in the distribution process to ensure that the intended youth cooperatives benefit from the initiative,” Mr. Nkandu said.
Ministry of Youth, Sport and Arts Permanent Secretary Kangwa Chileshe said the disbursing of various Youth Empowerment schemes is inclusive as youths from all the 10 provinces have benefitted.
Mr. Chileshe said the New Dawn government view youths as equal partners to the development of Zambia.
He said youths have the potential to change their lives, community and nation at large.
“The youth are equal partners to the development of our nation, Zambia.Today, we are disbursing various Youth Empowerment schemes in the Copperbelt Province for all the 10 provinces.This is indeed what the youth need to uplift their livelihoods and participate in the New Dawns commitment that no one is left behind in attaining development.Youths do not only have the potential to change their lives but also to change their community and nation at large as they turn their fortunes with the help of their government,” Mr. Chileshe said.
In November, 2020, the Ministry of Youth, Sport and Child Development empowered 52 youth cooperatives on the Copperbelt Province.
The 52 youth cooperatives received funding for their projects worth over K11 Million.
The money was part of the K470 Million Multi-Sectoral Youth Empowerment Programmes launched by then President Edgar Chagwa Lungu on 15th August, 2020 in Ndola.
The Minister presented 2 Fuel Tanker Trucks, 2 Rosa Buses and various youth empowerments to youth cooperatives.